[Home Movies: Medicus collection: New York World's Fair, 1939-40] (Reel 2)
October 17, 2012
A Thing Of Beauty
Just when I thought Mr. Medicus was nothing but a perv and the fair was nothing but mostly fair rides, comes this BEAUTIFUL reel, I was almost in tears at the images I was watching. Its probably the best thing IÂve ever seen on Prelinger. Lets go bit by bit about this film shall we?
The nice thing about this first of all is that Medicus just shows us EVERYTHING here, so we start at the Worlds Fair offices! Nice builiding here.. Then we stop and say hi to Grover Whalen, the chairman of the WorldÂs Fair. Hes nice and seems open to Medicus;s questions.. Then he drives off on a convertible, with US and World's flags flapping in the wind! Then, off to the fair we go! We see people's legs going to the fair!! Hmmm, there's a nun, I wonder if she was stopping people from going? We stop at the main entrance gate to pay for our tickets (great!) we then see more people walking on ramps to the exhibits (by the way, this is more interesting then it sounds). Then we get to the fair grounds itself! I have no idea what these buildings are.. The pointed one? The round one? But they're beautiful.. We then go up to the perisphere (Oh! Maybe thats what the round building was called? Ok) and take a peek from there. I should take a break and talk about all the neat vehicles they had at the fair. Bus systems, monorails, little cars! All of these are just incredibly neat! After that little peek, (was that a giant sun dial?) we go down Constitution Mall, Very nice. Statues along bodies of water.. (The only nudity we'll see in this reel!) I actually love this layout.. So beautiful! I wonder where the George Washington statue is now? From the distance, we can see people entering the perisphere! Fabulous! After more views of the grounds, we get a closer look at the perisphere's walkways, and MAN, those things were HIGH up. At least 5 stories up!! These walkways are amazing by the way, they're just so beautifully structured, that, yes, I began to cry lol. We also get views of the structure with the sun and clouds, very nice shot.. We go back on ground to view some of the vehicles that I was talking about earlier.. Wee! Small cars! Big open buses! We finally stop at our first building.. The Science and Health building! Nice sculptures on the outside of it.. Then off we go to the Plaza of Light where theres spectacular water fountains, and an exhibit hall . The hall is a little dark lol. But what appears to happen is to show Joe public the city at night. Whoa, was that lightning? I think they're talking about the future too, because it looks every place on the river looks to have it's own huge dock lol From there, we go to the truly spectacular building of the Forward March Of America. This building must have had a 25-30 foot waterfall at it's entrance.. The visitors entered / exited through a tunnel! This is AWESOME. We go into the building, and they have portholes so we can see the falls from indoors!! Weeee!! Guess nothing else of signifigance was in the building, because soon weÂre outside again, and now we get to the corperate halls! Yay! I wish I knew which hall we started in first. It has a tower with a metal orb on top.. Lots of people are going in, and no wonder! What looks to be a jam handy electric show is happening! We see lots of arcs.. not too sure where they're coming from.. We go outside again, and we see two giant switches.. And then the GE logo! So, let;s go back, Hmm.. really not too sure if this was the GE building.. Anyways, after a quick stop at the unremarkable Dupont building, (bah! They don't even have a building! Just cases to describe 'Better things for better living', we then go to the truly AWESOME Westinghouse building.. Hooo boy, ok here we go. After a glimpse at the sheer size of their hall (there's two of them) and a peek inside the windows (hmmm what's that swinging thing?) we go inside to find a truly amazing set up, they have displays of what people looked like before electricity and after, the giant pendulum thing that looks THIS close to knocking someone's head off, we see a partially naked liberty type of doll, and then we go to the kitchens of tommorow, which look remarkably the same as a 1950's kitchen would look, except of course, with all Westinghouse appliances. We get more shots of the dioramas in the place. Oh yeah, the escalator. Not too sure if this is the first time an escalator was shown at a fair, but people seem darn mighty impressed at the 'Electric stairway'. We then go to a demo guy.. and he's got a ROBOT! He\s walking and talking! This robot is obviously a guy in a costume, and looks remarkably like the robot in the classic 'Leave it to Roll-Oh'. This was rather fun and bizarre! The robot totally adds a sense of weird science fiction to this whole film, with the Kodachrome, the 'future world' exhibit of Westinghouse and so on. We then go back outside to see the time capsule they had constructed for the fair, which was supposedly going to be buried for 5000 years. Wow, so in 6050? Is the earth still going to be around? Plenty of people line up to take a peek in it.. Not too sure what they were ACTUALLY peeking at though. We then have a couple general fair shots, on the right hand side, I do believe is the US Steel pavilion.. we don't get to see L We see a hall for something that looks like 'Belgian Watches', and then after that, some sort of cone shaped hall.. I was hoping it was going to be the US Defense hall, but I don't think so, I can't read the writing of what it is L Has a lot of funky machinery in it though. After another general shot, we have a title card that says 'Along the Avenue of Labor', We first see a display for a chemical and plastic company. Cant QUITE make the full name of it, but their display isnt remarkable. Just some displays behind some glass. Meh. From there, we go to the curiously named Man: His Clothes, His Sports. Not too sure who the sponsor of this one is either (I suspect a garment company). Love the dioramas on the side of the building! From there we go to the Kodak exhibit! Nice building with photos on the outside.. There are some neat trick photography exhibits you can take pictures of; they have a miniature expo display that you can stand on, and a smaller version of the Kodak building. Of we go past a walkway with some flags, to the Schaefer Center, and their Pavement of Fame, where its similar to the Grummans cement displays in Hollywood, but this appears to be famous dignitararies to the fair, we can see Babe Ruth, Eddie Rachenbacher (??) Lowell Thomas (!!), Bill Robinson, and other unfamiliar signatures. From there we go to the real highlight of the reel. The Swift Premium Bacon exhibit. Theres a crowd of people looking at something.. What is it? We peek in, and theyre all looking at pretty women uh, doing assembly line work putting bacon in packages and wrapping them!! I mean, talk about exploitive! This is of course, much more exciting then the sausage display.. curiously, theres no one hanging around there.. Then we go to another display.. Not too sure if were still at Swift or not, the building seems to have changed shape. The mural invites us to Come On In . We decide not too and take pictures of the 3-man band wearing a curious red brown outfit. From there we stop at Wonder Bakery!! Theyve got a curious display on the right, which looks like some sort of wind tunnel blowing balloons around. In the windows. Theyve got a loop of cute cartoon characters leading us into the bakery. We stop by the Wonder wheat field, which were told, is the first to put in since 1875. And for good reason too! Must make way for progress! We also see a modern scarecrow. I never knew crows were scared of half naked womenFrom there, we go to a Glass exhibit. Did not for the life of me see the sponsor of this huge building. We start by looking at some fun house mirrors! Ha ha! You can see the reflections of the cameraman! Hmm, I thought Medicos was the bespectacled one?? I dunno.. Anyways, we see some gizmos no doubt crucial to glass blowing, and then to a mural that displays, amazingly, that we need Glass everywhere! We then see some neat ship in bottle sort of creation. We see a young kid and what looks like a turbine motor in some glass. And then its off to the glass blowers! A number of people think this show is the cats pajamas. They design plenty of shaped glass. This whole thing runs on FAR too long for my tastes actually. Not too sure why he didnt spend copious amounts of time at the Glass Blowers Hall of Fame earlier on.. Anyways, from there we see people snaking through a line to see heaven knows what, we take a peek outside the glass exhibit, then BACK to the glass blowers! (sigh), By the way, the glass blowers are immaculately dressed! Finally, we get out there and see what looks to be a curious bunch of statues around something. Not too sure. We then see a brightly colored entrance of a exhibit, not too sure what that is either. We then go back on to the main thorough way to the Sweden Speaks exhibit. This appears to be the first country exhibit were seeing. Theres a red colorful horse in front of it.. We see some crown jewels, then back outside where we see the outside of the Three Crowns Restaurant, (because were hungry), a woman passes by in a neatly designed wheelchair. We then see another display, not too sure of its origins, but a weird looking statue in front of it, what appears to be a man on a Cubist horse. We then go around in the garden where the horse is, and no, the horse still looks strange. We then see a water bank and a little waterfall, until we go to the Swedish Arts and Crafts building Heaven knows WHAT kind of items you would find there! (snicker) They seem to sell plenty of fancy glass. Oh. Then we see a unidentifiable building. The flag looks Flash Gordonish. Then, I guess we go into the gardens of the building? After that, onto Betsys! Dairy World Of Tomorrow! Plenty of cows getting milked, in 18th century looking neck braces! The fat ladies peering through the windows seem highly amused. But damn, those cows looked HUGE!! (and somewhat annoyed). Were outside now, and we see a Cow and her calf. For some odd reason, I was somewhat queasy of seeing them with matching mouth restraints. And then boys and girls, the moment youve all been waiting for.. BULL EXERCISES! Yes, at 11:30a, 3:30p, and 6:30p, the cows are walked around. Heaven knows WHAT theyre doing the rest of the time! After THAT, we briefly see a Toronto pavilion! Hey! I want to go in there! Thats my country!! Strangely, the mural looks as if Canada was still in the Ice Age. We then see (but dont bother to go into) the Kraft building, instead focusing on the corn distillers.. We then see a very odd garden, not too sure what those shapes or things are.. Next, a Shimmering display!! Everyone is wowed by that.. I am not too sure of what is happening, are the mirrors moving? Or something else? Hmm We then go to Chase and Sandborns Marionette Show where yes, marionettes of all shapes and sizes entertain the audience! Especially the black kids, which, yes, Medicus has taken shots of once again. Actually, the puppet show looks wild, plenty of puppets, elaborate costumes and sets, they have a can-can number, and even a puppet of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy! Now, THATS surreal. The crowd goes wild!! (ok, more like mildly amused). We then go to this amazing puppet show.. Weee!! A trapeze and a lion tamer!! The lion tamer is amusing with his tricks.. then we see what looks like a pixie on a moon.. Charlie Mcarthy is back- whoa, two guys on a bicycle built for 2!! Okay, enough of that! We then go to the Court Of States buildings.. all sorts of buildings here.. nice entrance! We go first into what looks like the main courtyard, we see Pennsylvania's building in the distance, and a neat world structure up front. (I suppose we're seeing the giant sphere later?) Upon closer inspection, the smaller sphere is somewhat ugly.. what is that supposed to represent? We find out the the body of water in the courtyard is the 'lagoon of states', which is quite funny sounding. Look! There's the trashcan of states! Anyways.. from there we go to a replica of an old barracks in New Jersey. Heaven knows what kind of historical significance this building holds. I mean, who cares? We then get a more closer view of Philadelphia's building, mmmkay.. then another unidentifiable building.. Then, off to Missouri's building! Is it me, or does it appear it's shot from the side? Oops, then we see the front entrance. Oddly not in the center of the building though, We then see Washington state's building.. Dull, except it looks to have an extra large school trophy sticking out of it. After that, we see New England's display.. A Clipper ship! Pretty wild, as it appears people are working on it's mastings, even though it's uh, not really going anyplace. I saw a Japanese flag.. what was that about? After a short visit on the clipper's deck, we see more unidentifiable buildings, (a market of some kind) and then we see some row boats.. Mmmkay. OH! It's a replica of a Maine Lobster Deck! Kinda neat, just wondering how much of that was tied down.. Then, on to Florida's building, which looks quite garish and quite inviting. It also has an 'exotic' and 'garish' garden which consists of a fountain and a few palm trees. Oh! And they also have orange trees! Not too sure if people could pick them, but the one thing they do have is Ice cream! Medicus and unidentified female companion suck one up for their enjoyment! Mmm!! Didn't Celine Dion wear her hat at the Oscars one year? And dammit, everyone seemed to have gone to the fair in three piece suits it seems.. We then go briefly to the U.S. Army and Navy buildings. And curiously, the army and Navy are THERE, like they have the barracks and everything. Now THATÂS strange. We see them play a lively game of volleyball and see the said barracks. We then see a curious military procession. It's in front of the MASSIVE building, no idea what it is. The whole thing looks like it comes from a Russian military excersise. It looks like noone is there to watch it though. Look at all the empty seats! And whoa, did you see that flag flying the wrong way while someone was walking? And then, we come to the final portion of this part.. Yesh. COLORFUL FOUNTAINS!! Lets see, very nice multicolored ones there, they seem to shapeshift.. We then do what Medicus likes to do whenever it's nighttime, go back to buildings he's visited previously and look at them at nighttime.. Brought to you by Consolidated Edison! We see the General Electric building.. Those massive waterfalls, which still look amazing, Synchronized water fountains, from different angles.. they are in front of the U.S. steel building! This whole scene looks to me like it was shot in Vegas. A peek into the GE building is next.. Look! Remember the pendulums? They have another pendulum type gadget there that I didn't see there before as well. They have a tower that also does neat little multicolored tricks as well. Then we go in front of a building that promises 'Better Living'. Not too sure what that is. Then we get an extended water fountain show. Red fountains! Green fountains! High water! Low Water! Not too sure what those numerals in the back are supposed to mean though.. Pretty soon, the fountains are shooting off fireworks! Weee! And thatÂs it for this round.. No real highlight here, except for the puppet show at the beginning. It's sort of hard to like this, when you're faced with a seven minute water show..